Growth Mindset – The Key to Unlocking Self-Improvement?
Growth mindset, the school of thought pioneered by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D, reveals a number of ways in which we can grow our brains and expand our intelligence.
It can be seen that growth mindset can play an integral role in self-improvement too, particularly when looking at how it can help individuals adapt to stress, meet challenges, and embrace change.
According to the principles outlined by Dweck, growth mindset can help “train” the brain to expand in terms of intellect and capability, and it can also help improve attitudes towards things like learning new things, failure, mistakes, praise and criticism, and just about every other concept anyone looking to improve themselves will encounter.
For individuals with a keen interest in self-growth then, growth mindset could be a crucial tool to have in their arsenal.
How growth mindset leads to self-growth
There are a number of ways in which the theories outlined in growth mindset can be advantageous to personal development, including the approach to challenges.
Those with the opposite way of thinking – a fixed mindset – view challenges as tests that will lead to either success or failure. If they encounter a challenge or setback, they may fear failing or making a mistake, and may experience worry about what it will say to others about them if they don’t conquer the challenge.
For example, someone with a fixed mindset may berate themselves for encountering a stumbling block (“You’re never going to be good at this”). Those with a growth mindset however will rise to the challenge (“You can be good at this if you put in some more practice, or learn more about it”).
Think about where you are now, and where you want to be; how many challenges do you envision encountering along the way? By having a growth mindset, you can embrace these challenges, and know that with some additional training, time, patience, practice, you can rise towards success. Growth mindset is an attitude that ensures continuous growth throughout life, as individuals learn to anticipate, accept and even appreciate life’s challenges.
Growth mindset activities and attitudes can also play an important role in dealing with stress. Stress management is a daily challenge for most people, and embracing the stress as one of the aforementioned challenges can help an individual channel it into something positive. In fact, research has shown we are less impacted by stress if we believe it is good for us.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison involved asking 29,000 respondents to not only rate their stress levels, but to reveal how they felt this stress influenced their health.
Those who believed that stress did have a negative impact on their health had a staggering 43% increased risk of death compared with those that did not! When looking at the impact growth mindset has on stress management then, it can be seen to be the quintessential case of mind over matter.
Finally, growth mindset activities can help individuals move beyond what’s comfortable, and venture into unknown territory with confidence. In essence, it can help people push past the comfort zone.
This could perhaps be an attempt to learn something new in an academic sense, or to try a new sport or activity or perhaps even travel outside of that. We’ve all heard it said that “everything you have ever wanted is just outside your comfort zone.” There is no growth in comfort, and by embracing and practicing a growth mindset, individuals can access areas that will help them develop and reach their full potential.
To learn more about how growth mindset can play a role in personal development and education, visit www.positiveedgeeducation.com